September 21, 2020

Udall Applauds House Passage of 5 Senate Indian Affairs Committee Bills


For Immediate Release

September 21, 2020

Contact: Ned Adriance

202.228.6870 || @SenatorTomUdall


Udall Applauds House Passage of 5 Senate Indian Affairs Committee Bills


Bills will now go to the president for signature


Group of bills includes two important Udall championed missing and murdered Indigenous women’s (MMIW) bills – Savanna’s Act and Not Invisible Act


WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, applauded the House’s passage of five pieces of Senate Committee on Indian Affairs legislation, including four Senate bills he either introduced or cosponsored.


Among the bills passed are the Udall-authored Native American Business Incubators Program Act; the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act, sponsored by Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and co-sponsored by Udall; Savanna’s Act, sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and co-sponsored by Udall; the Not Invisible Act, sponsored by Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and co-sponsored by Udall; and a bill to nullify the Supplemental Treaty Between the United States of America and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Indians of Middle Oregon, concluded on November 15, 1865, sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).


“As Indian Country continues to grapple with the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, these bills will serve to empower Tribal governments and economies, tackle the MMIW crisis, and uphold the Nation’s trust and treaty responsibility to Tribal communities,” Udall said. “I look forward to seeing these important bills signed into law, and I am encouraged that both chambers of Congress continue to work across the aisle on priorities for Tribes and Native communities.”


The Senate Indian Affairs bills that passed the House include:


S. 209, PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act

Promotes local control and administration of federal Indian programs under the Department of the Interior.
Requires certain provisions, such as auditing principles, be included in compacts.
Provides clearer guidelines for Tribal Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act compact negotiations and decision-making.


S. 227, Savanna’s Act

Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide training to law enforcement on how to record Tribal enrollment information of MMIW victims in federal databases.
Mandates that the Attorney General consult with Tribes on how to improve federal databases in light of the MMIW crisis.
Requires the creation of regional guidelines that federal, Tribal, state, and local law enforcement agencies can use to improve response to MMIW cases.
Requires DOJ to include MMIW data in an annual report to Congress.


S. 294, Native American Business Incubators Program Act

Creates a grant program within the Department of the Interior (DOI) to support Tribes, Tribal colleges, and nonprofit organizations that establish and fund business incubators that will assist in promoting Native American-owned small businesses.


S. 982, Not Invisible Act of 2019

Requires DOI to designate a point person within the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services to coordinate violent crime prevention efforts in Indian Country across federal agencies.
Directs DOI and DOJ to establish a commission composed of relevant federal agencies, Tribal leaders, and Tribal members to develop recommendations on improving the federal response to MMIW, Native American human trafficking, and violent crime in Indian Country.
Directs DOI and DOJ to submit a formal response to the commission’s recommendations to Congress within 90 days of receiving the recommendations